Archive for March, 2010

Capital I. Part 6: Wages, chapters 19 to 22

In Part Six through the discussion of wages in their various forms Marx begins to develop the concept of the collective worker and teases out some sources of division and mystification of the class condition. He will establish what wages represent in general before dividing his analysis into capital’s different strategies: time-wages, piece-wages and accounting for the difference in wages internationally. Prices and price movements mask fundamental social relations. The development of wages and their various forms, whether they are hourly rates or piece-rates, mask the extraction of surplus value. Continue reading ‘Capital I. Part 6: Wages, chapters 19 to 22’


CHAPTER 15: Machinery & Large-Scale Industy. Sections: 5-10

Dear all. The notes are going to go up progressively today (while i work around a few other deadlines). For now I present you my first point along with subheadings for the other things I will get to post (hopefully) before the day is out. And if i don’t get around to posting them, we can take them up for discussion at our meeting tonight. (sorry about sloppiness).


In the first 5 sections of chapter 15 we looked at how the machine, the definitive technology of Large Scale Industry creates contradictions within the logic of capital. In the second half of this chapter Marx crystallises some of the manifestations of ‘the contradictions and antagonisms inseparable from the capitalist application of machinery’: Continue reading ‘CHAPTER 15: Machinery & Large-Scale Industy. Sections: 5-10’

Chapter 15: Machinery and Large-Scale Industry. Sections 1 – 4

I have set out the notes under thematic headings mostly corresponding with the chronology of the text. There are a couple of suggested discussion points in the end two points. See you all in the reading group meeting!


‘Technology reveals the active relation of man to nature, the direct process of the production of his life, and thereby it also lays bare the process of the production of the social relations of his life and of the mental conceptions that flow from these relations.’[1] Continue reading ‘Chapter 15: Machinery and Large-Scale Industry. Sections 1 – 4’

Background quotes on Labour and Technology (In preparation for Chapter 15)

Dear Reading group. As you may or may not know, my PhD thesis is called ‘Technology and Translation,’ and hence i am reading Capital with a keen eye for what Marx has to say about technological innovation. Thus, as a background to reading Chapter 15: Machinery and Large-Scale Industry, i have compiled just some of the quotes from earlier chapters that shed light on where technology figures in the constellation of concepts that Marx outlines in Capital. These quotes are not from Chapter 15, so you may want to skip this section if you are short on time: Continue reading ‘Background quotes on Labour and Technology (In preparation for Chapter 15)’

Notes on Patrick Murray, “The Social and Material Transformation of Production: Formal and Real Subsumption in Capital, Volume I”

These are some notes I took on Patrick Murray’s chapter in Riccardo Bellofiore and Nicola Taylor (eds.), The Constitution of Capital: Essays on Volume I of Marx’s Capital (Palgrave, 2004), pp 243-72.

His chapter deals with the middle parts of Capital that we are now reading. He particularly emphasises the concepts of subsumption that Marx develops in this part of Capital. Continue reading ‘Notes on Patrick Murray, “The Social and Material Transformation of Production: Formal and Real Subsumption in Capital, Volume I”’

Capital I. Chapter 14: The Division of Labour and Manufacture.

Manufacture takes two fundamental forms, the finished article being produced: 1) by  assembling parts made independently and in relative isolation; 2) or by “a series of connected processes and manipulations.” (p. 461) The first form, Marx calls ‘heterogeneous’, and the second, ‘organic’. Continue reading ‘Capital I. Chapter 14: The Division of Labour and Manufacture.’

Capital I. Chapter 13: Co-operation.

“Capitalist production only really begins . . . when each individual capital simultaneously employs a comparatively large number of workers, and when, as a result, the labour-process is carried on on an extensive scale, and yields relatively large quantities of products. A large number of workers working together, at the same time, in one place (or, if you like, in the same field of labour), in order to produce the same sort of commodity under the command of the same capitalist, constitutes the starting-point of capitalist production. This is true both historically and conceptually.” (p. 439) Continue reading ‘Capital I. Chapter 13: Co-operation.’

Reading Capital in Sydney records reading notes on Marx's Capital I, II and III, and other bits and pieces.

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